A farmer owned an old donkey. One day, while leaning in to get a drink, the donkey fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the donkey braying loudly and followed the sound to its source -- and found the donkey standing at the bottom of the well.
After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the old donkey, but the well was deep, and there was no way to haul the donkey out of it. The farmer called his neighbors, and asked them to come give him a hand - and to bring dirt and shovels. The neighboring farmers came, with dirt and shovels in their trucks. Neither the donkey nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. The only thing they could think to do was to bury the old donkey in the well and put him out of his misery. It was a shame, but there was nothing else that could be done. As the farmers shoveled dirt into the well, the old donkey was hysterical!
The donkey brayed louder than ever when the dirt hit his back, but the farmers kept shoveling.
Then the farmers noticed what the donkey was doing. Every time a shovel load of dirt landed on the donkey's back, he brayed loudly -- but then he would shake it off and step up!
As the dirt was shoveled down on top of him, the donkey continued.
The farmers and the old donkey got into a rhythm -- the farmers would drop a shovel load of dirt down the well, and the donkey would shake it off and step up. No matter how heavy the dirt, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old donkey fought panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!
Finally, battered and exhausted, the old donkey stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well! What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him... all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. Instead of letting it bury him, the dirt became his road to freedom.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!